The Two Tango

In the craziness of the last little while I haven’t had a chance to document one of the most amazing experiences yet in our stint of parenthood: Eli turning two!

Birthdays are already pretty exciting to me- I love the planning, the anticipation, the secrecy… and while Eli’s first birthday was incredible, the difference in his awareness of the special day made it all the more amazing.

I started the Lightning McQueen cake two nights before. I had a car mould so everything should have gone smoothly… if only I had read the instructions. I began to notice a funny smell emanating from the oven and when I opened the door I saw that the mould had partially collapsed and was tipping the mixture out onto the tray and the oven floor. Dave and I began a rescue mission and managed to salvage part of the mixture from the tray. Half way through cooking I decided to pour in a pack of chocolate chips so that the mixture would fill the mould… needless to say it didn’t look great when it came out of the oven!

Thankfully icing covers a multitude of baking sins, and when the cake was complete it bore a partial resemblance to the Cars hero! Being buoyed by the saving of the cake I was suddenly inspired to set and decorate the table for the birthday breakfast.

Dave and I climbed into bed with the anticipation of school children, sleeping fitfully and waking as soon as was advisable given the big plans for the day. We woke up Hudson and crept into Eli’s room with a lit candle, singing.

The rest of the morning included pancakes, present opening and playing with the newest additions to the Cars family. We then packed up and left on our zoo adventure!

All the animals seemed to be in performance mode, with the tiger prowling centimeters away from our faces, the monkeys huddling together and the seals doing circles gracefully around underground pool. Eli loved the butterflies and tried so valiantly to stay still so that one would land on him!

Compared to previous parties I scaled back the catering a lot. We had a picnic for nine with tea sandwiches, mini quiches, cocktail frankfurts, bacon and egg cups, traffic light brownies, teddy bear mini cars, fudge and raspberry and lime punch! The kids had a ball playing on the playground and carousel and the weather remained fair.

Family (including housemates) was such a big part of the day, with Hali volunteering to carry around a very grumpy Hudson and Nanny and Pa taking it in turns to settle and feed him. Chase made a special connection with Eli’s Nanny and it was so cute watching them walk hand in hand.

The only blemish on the day was my constant watching of Eli limping as he had jumped off the bed the day before and rolled his ankle. Thankfully it was only a sprain and didn’t do much to diminish Eli’s excitement. We leisurely finished the afternoon at Nan and Pa’s and returned home for pizza and birthday cake in front of Cars 2!

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